The Restaurant Association of Ireland has launched ‘Foodie Destinations 2016‘, the search for Ireland’s top culinary spots. Formerly known as ‘Foodie Towns’, the competition celebrates our country’s unique food culture and helps to promote local food tourism initiatives.
Now open to villages and larger regions, the competition searches for a place that has created a network of industry players that work towards promoting the food culture of the area through a programme of activities and events like festivals and markets. The winning destination will have a thriving dining out scene too and will be planning ahead for investment and development in the area.
A shortlist of finalists will be made available in August and those areas will be visited by a panel of critics and judges. The public will also get a say as they can vote online with the tally making up 50% of the overall score.
Last year, The Burren beat off stiff competition to be named the top Foodie Destination for 2015. Chairperson of the Irish Food Writers Guild, Aoife Carrigy commented, “What made The Burren stand out as exemplary was the comprehensiveness of their food offering from field – or in their case, fertile rock – through to fork. Food-loving tourists to The Burren are in for an intriguing treat.”
Food loving communities are being urged to come together with local businesses, organisations and Chambers of Commerce to submit their applications.
President of the Restaurants Association of Ireland Anthony Gray said, “All over Ireland, local community initiatives are shaping the food, hospitality and tourism industry at ground level. This is our opportunity to recognise these towns and communities for the amazing work they are doing to put Ireland at the forefront of culinary tourism. Irish people take great pride in their localities and the dynamic nature of the hospitality industry will serve to prove that there are destinations in every pocket of the country worth visiting.”
Applications will be accepted from tomorrow, Thursday 14th of July until Thursday 11th August via this online form, finalists will be announced in August and the judging process will commence.
For further information about the competition or to enquire about sponsorship opportunities, please contact the Restaurants Association of Ireland on 01 677 9901 or visit our website www.foodiedestinations.ie